Most of the time I am cognizant that there is much in my life to be thankful for. Despite having had this migraine every day for the past ten months, despite being unable to pursue my dreams to their full potential, I realize I am generally healthy. I am blessed with a loving and devoted family, the world’s most cuddly cat, and a partner who spends his time actively trying to make me laugh every day. I am not sure how I became such a Pollyanna. I certainly wasn’t in the beginning. All I know is I seem to be able to keep a pretty cheery outlook most of the time.
Except when I don’t.
Yesterday I didn’t. It had been a bad pain week and I have had a cold so I am sure that played into it but yesterday found me sobbing for hours by myself in my room. Every single frustration and sorrow welled up and poured out and wouldn’t be reasoned with. I could not cheer myself up or calm myself down. Worst of all it was the dumbest thing in the world that set me off. Jealousy.
Yesterday my brother innocuously responded to a family email thread with the statement that he and his significant other both have really good jobs that pay pretty well. This statement is something a big sister is supposed to look at with pride and think “you go bro!” but I just sat there and stared at it. I read that sentence again and again and at some point realized I was crying, uncontrollably. I tried like to hell to figure out why the statement had set me off so badly and I finally reasoned I was crying because I wanted to have a really good job that pays pretty well. I was crying because I was jealous of my own brother.
I wish I could tell you that once I figured it out I was able to climb back into my Pollyanna outlook but unfortunately the discovery was something that crawled under my skin and lived there for the rest of the day. Each time I would begin to calm down and look for a distraction my mind would helpfully remind me that my career in law is stalled because I have a disability and can’t work. It would remind me that at nearly 40 I still need a driver. It would sigh over the plans I had and compare them to my new plans and point out the wide chasms between the two. It was a long day.
Finally after spending many hours feeling sorry for myself I ended up putting on Pride and Prejudice and losing myself in the victorian pursuit of eligible bachelors. I went to bed and put away the day.
As is true with most things I felt better after a good night’s sleep.
I suppose it’s normal and natural to have otherwise innocuous statements send you into a death spiral of despair, it just seemed so silly to respond this way.